Idle Hawaiian coal plant to be converted to biomass
The facility will burn sustainable, locally grown crops and waste biomass, the company said. Hû Honua Bioenergy expects the plant to stimulate the local forestry and agricultural industries, and also prevent tens of thousands of tons of biomass waste from being deposited into Hawaii County's landfills each year. The conversion is expected to be completed by 2010.
Hû Honua Bioenergy is co-owned by Ethanol Research Hawaii LLC in Oahu, and MMA Renewable Ventures LLC in San Francisco, a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity LLC in Baltimore.
According to MMA Renewable Ventures, the state of Hawaii relies on imported fossil fuels for 90 percent of its energy needs. Therefore, local support for the project has been overwhelming with more than 95 percent of the area's residents having signed a petition in support of the facility.
"Like its name, which means ‘to come out of the earth,' Hû Honua turns to the land to effectively and sustainably meet Hawaii's power needs," said Dan KenKnight, director of Hû Honua Bioenergy. "Projects like the Hû Honua Bioenergy Facility play an important role in shifting Hawaii's energy mix away from imported petroleum toward renewable sources."
The Hû Honua Bioenergy Facility is the first bioenergy project in MMA Renewable Ventures' portfolio of solar power, wind power, bioenergy and energy efficiency projects.